In today’s world, having a physical store isn’t enough to make it in today’s market. In fact, opening a physical store is now considered a luxury. Entrepreneurs who want to be successful in the online marketplace have realised the importance of having a presence online and have taken the step to create brand platforms to house their online stores. Just like any other aspect of business, building a brand platform takes some planning and research to ensure that it is structurally sound and will provide you with the foundation for growth.
Basic Brand Analysis
Before you begin your platform build, it’s important to take a few steps back and identify the basics. What is your goal for this brand platform, and what metrics will you use to measure your success? The answer to these questions will guide you in the construction of your brand platform and the selection of which platforms to use. Once you begin to establish these metrics, you will be able to track your progress and identify areas where you need to make further improvements.
E-commerce Playground: The Merkle
If you’re new to the world of e-commerce, you’ll want to look into the Merkle as your e-commerce platform of choice. The Merkle was originally designed as a playground for marketers to try out new products without worrying about the logistics of taking on a large e-commerce project. Being that it was built with marketers in mind, the platform offers several advantages.
- Native e-commerce functionality
- Built-in SEO features
- Lightweight e-commerce store
- GDPR compliance
- Multiple payment methods
- Free shipping
- Free returns
Now, before you begin to establish a physical store, you will need to make sure that you can accept online payments for your products. This is usually a pain point for many e-commerce stores as credit cards aren’t everywhere and most online shops don’t have the resources to set up a payment system that accepts all the popular cards.
The good news is that there are several e-commerce platforms out there that handle all the technical aspects of taking payments online for you, so you don’t need to worry about the setup either. One of the most popular and trusted platforms for accepting payments is Stripe. Stripe enables you to accept credit cards and Paypal payments through your website.
The SEO of your e-commerce store will play an important role in your ability to succeed in the marketplace. When it comes to SEO, marketers use various tools to study how keywords and phrases are used in relation to a subject or product, for example.
In order to succeed in the SEO game, you will need to make sure that your web pages are structured in such a way that search engines can easily understand the context of your content. In the next section, we will discuss some SEO-specific tips that can help you structure your content so that you can better position yourself for the search engines.
Getting Started With Content
When establishing your brand, you will want to consider making use of content strategists to help you determine which topics to cover in order to achieve the greatest possible exposure in the marketplace. After all, a successful brand will contain relevant and high-quality content that entices customers to click through to your store. If your content is high-quality and relevant, the search engines will naturally put your website at the top of the list when potential customers search for related topics. You can also use competitive analysis tools to identify areas of weakness in your competitors’ marketing strategies and take advantage of those weaknesses. By creating or curating content that resolves those weaknesses, you can position yourself as the brand that best serves the target market. This type of content can be used to establish editorial relationships with blogs and websites across the internet.
Creating Social Media Campaigns
The ability to connect with customers through social media is one of the most important aspects of any business. Whether you decide to use social media to promote your editorial content or to engage with your customers directly, having a strong social media presence is key to brand success. Before you begin to create a social media strategy, take some time to determine your target audience and the type of content that they will value the most. From there, you can develop content that will encourage them to engage with your brand.
If they value educational content, for example, you can develop a podcast to share valuable information with your audience. If they are most interested in celebrity gossip, you can curate content that compels them to look you up on social media.
Establishing Editorial Ranks In The Press
Apart from using content to attract customers to your store, you can also use editorial rankings to establish yourself as an authoritative voice in your industry. For example, if you are a fashion brand, you could develop an editorial page on your site that is packed with helpful information for fashion students and enthusiasts. If you are the only brand that offers an in-house tailor service, you can develop an editorial page that highlights the service and why it’s different from other fashion tailors. When establishing your editorial page, make sure that you choose a niche for the page that has enough traffic to allow you to establish yourself as an authoritative voice in your industry.
The Building Blocks Of A Successful Brand
In order to create a successful brand, you will need to consider many different factors. In this section, we will discuss a few of the most important factors that you need to consider in order to build a successful brand platform.
First of all, you need to have a clear vision of what your brand stands for. In the beginning, it’s important to establish the basics of your brand, including what it is that you will offer and what sets your brand apart from your competitors. With that information, you can develop a clear identity for your brand and begin to build your store based on that identity.
In addition to a strong identity, you will also need to have a good understanding of your target audience and develop content that will reach the right people. Once you begin to develop a clear picture of your target audience and what they want, you can begin to curate content that meets their needs. By establishing your editorial presence on social media and in the press, you can begin to demonstrate to the world that you have a brand that is here to stay.
Attracting The Right Customers
If you are planning to establish an e-commerce store, you will first and foremost want to attract the right customers to your store. In the sea of online stores, yours will probably stand out thanks to the excellent customer service that you provide. In order to attract more customers, you can develop a strong social media presence that encourages people to like, comment on, and share your content. In addition to social media, you can also consider sending out press releases and holding webinars for prospective customers.
Sales And Marketing
Before you begin to establish your brand, you will also need to consider how you will market and sell your products. In the world of e-commerce, you will always need to consider how you will interact with your customers. Regardless of whether you operate a free or paid membership model, you will need to consider how you will collect payment and ship orders. When establishing the structure and design of your website, make sure that you consider these aspects and create a shopping cart that is both user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing.
When running an e-commerce store, you will inevitably end up spending money on various costs. Whether you decide to buy a luxury product that retails for thousands of dollars or invest in expensive tools and software that help you run your store, you will have to consider how much you are willing to spend. In the long-term, these costs will inevitably add up and eat into your profit margins if you aren’t careful.
A major area of cost-saving that you can utilize is to set up direct deliveries from manufacturers to customers. Not only does this reduce the amount of truck traffic that you will need to endure, it also cuts out the middleman and saves you both time and money. In addition to direct deliveries from manufacturers, you can also consider creating your own private label and using drop-shipping to have products shipped directly to customers. With private labeling, you can cut out the cost of storage and ensure that you always have product available for sale. When it comes to marketing, content creation, and website performance, there are several different options for free that you can use that will save you both time and money. Take a look at Shopify’s blog to discover all the helpful tips and information that you need to get started.